PayPal joins Netflix in geoblocking fight by cutting off VPN site's payment services

By midian182
Feb 8, 2016
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  1. As the battle between Netflix and those using VPNs to bypass geoblocking restrictions rages on, it looks as if the streaming site has an ally in its fight: PayPal. Canadian 'unblocker' service UnoTelly has just had its payment processing agreement severed by PayPal for promoting copyright infringement, and many more VPN providers may soon face the same situation.

    "On February 3rd, 2016, Paypal has severed payment processing agreement unilaterally and without prior warning," Toronto-based UnoTelly said on its blog Thursday. The company has advised customers who were using PayPal to now use a credit card instead.

    "We are disappointed at PayPal’s unilateral action and the way it acted without prior warning. We provide both DNS resolution and secure VPN services. Our services are network relays that connect people around the world."

    In an email explaining its decsion to UnoTelly, Paypal wrote: “Under the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy, or any other proprietary right under the laws of any jurisdiction.”

    “This includes transactions for any device or technological measure that descrambles a scrambled work, decrypts an encrypted work or otherwise avoids, bypasses, removes, deactivates or impairs a technological measure without the authority of the copyright owner.”

    Of course, the simple solution for VPN service customers is to switch to another method of payment, but not everyone has a credit card and many people prefer using PayPal. There’s also the fact that most people use VPN services for totally legitimate reasons, and as every one can be used to bypass Netflix’s geoblocking, will PayPal eventually cut ties with them all?

    In a statement to CBC news, the company said it is going after “certain businesses that actively promote their services as a means to circumvent copyright restrictions and violate intellectual property laws.” Netflix has also used similar tactics, blocking users of Australian VPN service Uflix last month.

    It’s unclear whether Netflix specifically asked Paypal to clamp down on the payment services it provides to VPN companies, but the timing does suggest that this may be the case.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,079   +331

    Wow I wonder how much money paypal got to block customers of its own service.

    Lets hope its enough make up for the lost in revenue.
    wastedkill likes this.
  3. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,803   +483

    they most likely got none. just a letter threatening with a lawsuit.
  4. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,079   +331

    And they don't have a legal team to fight back saying they are not responsible for the usage with these accounts.

    Just like your ISP isn't responsible for what you do with your internet connection.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Maniac Posts: 933   +240

    Too little, too late, IMHO. Paypal is not the only credit card processor though it may be the cheapest.
  6. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,937   +157

    VPN's are not illegal. So what if I dont like getting ads on my phone and computer based off some dream I googled about? What do you care? If I don't want the highest bidder data mining me, that's my business. Who gives them the right anyways? You need a court order to look through someone's mail but its ok to monitor their emails and everything else online? Go ahead google search a medicine or ailment and see if those ads do not start to pop up on youtube.

    This is equivalent to the post office requiring translucent letters so any company that pays them enough can take a look at what you write. Said company would then use that info to mail you ads based off your interest.

    p.s. I'm aware of cookies
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
    Lionvibez likes this.
  7. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 88   +13

    Since when was using a VPN to circumvent geoblocking illegal? In fact, in Australia, the ACCC noted that a bill preventing piracy using VPNs would prevent citizens from using VPNs for geoblocking.

    So surely PayPal denying a company access to their system is illegal, if not unethical?
    PatrickJamesss likes this.
  8. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,373   +310

    Paypal has always been a terrible service to use its cancer in the making.
  9. roberthi

    roberthi TS Enthusiast Posts: 78   +11

    First of all, no. It's neither illegal nor unethical. PayPal doesn't have to do business with them at all. It may hurt their bottom line, but so is negative PR from the backlash they may get from VPN users who violate other laws and ethics. That's partly what this boils down to. The users. Having said that, the legality of blocking services to regions or whatever is up to the region and/or the business providing the service. If transparency is what you're after, then live in a glass house and let everyone see what you're doing in your own home. It's not Netflix's duty or requirement to give access to everyone and if those who live in blocked regions are circumventing that block, then it becomes an questioning of the inviduals' ethics more than legality.
  10. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Guru Posts: 503   +42

    My netflix has started popping up telling me I maybe using an unblocker or proxy can can't play the content and directs me to site for more info and gives me two options OK or Cancel. I click OK and the content plays as normal ...

    p.s I am using the DNS hack for content.
  11. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,937   +157

    I guarantee paypal uses a work VPN with all employees.

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